I had attempted to make some Portugese Tarts. My prior failure with my Exploding Custard Tarts last year haunted me still, but when my friend Kulinary Adventures of Kath pronounced she had found a fail-safe recipe, I was encouraged and tried it, only to have them fail yet again. This time, at least they didn’t explode, but just became quite singed and crunchy around the edges while remaining still quite pale in the centre – the opposite of what a Portugese Tart is supposed to be, really. At least the results were tasty.
As custard requires egg yolks, I thus had three egg whites remaining, and you all know what that means! MACARONS!
I hadn’t made macarons for some time since my Mojito Macarons and decided that it was time for me to refresh my skills once again. So here we go.
To make about 15 macarons, you will need:
- 110g icing sugar;
- 60g almond meal;
- 60g egg whites (plus about 5g extra, for later if required) aged and at room temperature;
- 40g caster sugar;
- Red food colouring paste (I used Wilton brand).
Into a large bowl, sift together your almond and icing sugar twice. Into another bowl, place the 60g egg whites in a large bowl with a bit of the food colouring paste. Feel free to be a little generous with the paste as the colour will be heavily diluted when the meringue forms and the almond sugar mixture is incorporated.
Whisk the egg whites for about 30 seconds on high until foamy, then continue mixing for approximately eight minutes, gradually adding the caster sugar until a thick, stiff meringue forms.
Fold through the dry ingredients in two batches. The mixture should have the consistency of ‘magma’, sliding off your spatula easily in ribbons but not too runny like a cake mix. If too dry, carefully add a little of the reserved egg white, using a butter knife to ‘cut’ the white if required.
Spoon the mixture into a piping bag fitted with a 1cm round piping tip and pipe about 4cm diameter circles onto two baking paper lined trays, placing the tip at the centre of the circle and squeezing gently to allow the mixture to naturally flow out into a circle.
Tap the trays firmly on the benchtop to allow any air bubbles to pop. Allow to rest in a cool, dry room for 30 to 45 minutes for a ‘skin’ to form over the macarons. Preheat your oven to 140 degrees Celcius. They are ready when you touch them gently with a fingertip and no mixture comes away on your finger.
Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes. Pray for feet!! I took one tray out earlier than the other and you can see the results! The earlier tray obviously wasn’t quite ready yet and was a little too soft but never mind, you never see the inside of a macaron when you’re eating it anyway!
Now onto your ganache! You will need:
- 200g dark eating chocolate, preferably 70% cocoa solids;
- 75 ml thickened cream;
- Half a punnet of raspberries.
Originally when I had been contemplating this recipe I was considering using frozen raspberries, but didn’t want to risk it with defrosted raspberries containing so much water. I waited for raspberries to go on special, although they still cost me $7 a punnet. Sigh, they are so dear!
Wash, dry (on a paper towel) and chop your raspberries roughly. Over a double saucepan of simmering water, melt the broken up chocolate and cream together. Once glossy, remove from heat and allow to cool a little before stirring in the chopped raspberries. Place the raspberry ganache into the fridge to cool enough to a consistency that it can be spread.
Sandwich your macarons! Always my favourite part! Besides from eating them, of course 😉
Place them in the fridge and wait the awful 24 hours for the flavours to infuse! I can guarantee it is totally worth it 🙂 And it also allows me to wait for a time where I can get natural lighting for my photos!
Hmmm, how to display them?? Like this??
Maybe that’s a bit too flat. I played around with them for so long at 9am in the morning that I was almost late for the start of my foodie day trip to Flour & Stone and Reuben Hills!
Now this is better!
Soft and not too sweet, you have the velvety texture of the macaron shell with the creamy dark chocolate, which lends each macaron a slight bitterness. Infused with the fresh raspberries, they are deliciously tangy, and everyone knows that dark chocolate and raspberries are a match made in heaven!
Enjoy the rest of your week, lovelies…catch you on Friday where I review the very hip Reuben Hills cafe in Sydney’s Surry… xx